Sunday, 10 February 2013

Whatever next?

The Shetland Pine Grosbeak. Could there be anymore of these beauties lurking out there that might call into Fair Isle on their way back north? Eight points in the Prediction Competition if they do!
A beautiful day of sunshine and visibility stretching many miles out to sea yesterday (we were able to give Shetland and North Ron a wave as both were clearly visible) gave way to strong SE winds and snow today, some of which even settled enough for snowmen, snowballs and a spot of very rough sledging. Still beautiful in its own way and it’s the constant changes that help to make life here all the more interesting.

A warm welcome.

Mammal listers will no doubt be drooling with envy at the endemic feeding in our garden today: Fair Isle Field Mouse is slightly larger and darker than the Wood Mouse of the rest of the UK, of which it is usually considered a subspecies.
Not much to add to the bird news, Iceland Gull and Peregrine have been seen in recent days, but the only addition to the year list was a Puffin in South Haven today, which didn’t look entirely happy to be here.
But it’s time to start thinking of the birds that could turn up on Fair Isle this year. There’s a prize of four nights free accommodation at FIBO (for FOFI members, two nights for non-members) for the winner of the Fair Isle Prediction Competition. All you have to do is have a guess at which birds will turn up this year between 1st April and 30th November (choose 3 firsts for the UK, 5 firsts for Fair Isle, 15 spring and 15 autumn rarities) with points allocated for each species from the list of ‘predictable birds’ that are seen. The winner will be announced in December. It’s all just a bit of fun, so why not give it a go, given the ‘anything could turn up’ feeling of birding on Fair Isle, everyone stands a chance. Details on how to enter can be found here.

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